Service Upgrade and Rough In


  #1  
Old 08-23-08, 07:48 PM
C
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Missouri
Posts: 144
Received 1 Vote on 1 Post
Service Upgrade and Rough In

I had an electrician come out today to take notes for bidding my new service panel and possibly finishing some branch circuit wiring I've been working on to get me to rough in stage on part of my house. Two things I'd like input on:

1) He suggested aluminum for the service in the weatherhead/riser to the panel. I hadn't really considered this as I've read that aluminum branch wiring is not really done anymore. Is aluminum service the way to go? Anything I'm losing not going with copper? I understand copper would be more expensive, according to him.

2) He said the ground wires feeding the receptacle boxes would need to be mechanically bonded for rough in. I'm assuming a wire nut is fine for this, right? Are inspectors looking for any particular color for the nuts on ground wires? Must the nuts be green? What is the rationale behind making these connections for rough in? These will all have to be taken back apart after rough in to then install the receptacles. Seems like a bunch of back-tracking.
 
  #2  
Old 08-23-08, 08:00 PM
F
Member
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: NE Wis / Paris France{ In France for now }
Posts: 4,807
Received 2 Votes on 2 Posts
Originally Posted by cakins View Post
1) He suggested aluminum for the service in the weatherhead/riser to the panel. I hadn't really considered this as I've read that aluminum branch wiring is not really done anymore. Is aluminum service the way to go? Anything I'm losing not going with copper? I understand copper would be more expensive, according to him.
Normally it will be either Alum or Copper for service riser it depending on the service size or distance and some local area may not allowed alum conductor for riser.

Originally Posted by cakins View Post
2) He said the ground wires feeding the receptacle boxes would need to be mechanically bonded for rough in. I'm assuming a wire nut is fine for this, right? Are inspectors looking for any particular color for the nuts on ground wires? Must the nuts be green? What is the rationale behind making these connections for rough in? These will all have to be taken back apart after rough in to then install the receptacles. Seems like a bunch of back-tracking.
Either wirenut or crimp sleeve will meet the code for ground wires.

Yes you can use the green wire nuts but for myself I don't always use the green wirenuts I used the crimp sleeve as well depending on the location it will be used. and the numbers of ground wire in the box as well.

If you have metal juctionbox yes you must bonded as well with ground wire with green screw on it.

And leave a extra ground pigtail for your device hook up.

What is the rationale behind making these connections for rough in?
The main reason why make the connection during rough stage so the inspector can see the grounding connection is properly bonded and when after the rough in is done then we come back and do the finsh trim work which it mean put in the receptale or switches etc as need to be done.

That why we always work in two stages the rough in and final stage.

Merci,Marc
 
  #3  
Old 08-23-08, 08:09 PM
pcboss's Avatar
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Maryland
Posts: 15,389
Received 148 Votes on 131 Posts
This is one example of how the green wire nuts will look, no need to disassemble to install the devices.
 
  #4  
Old 08-23-08, 08:14 PM
F
Member
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: NE Wis / Paris France{ In France for now }
Posts: 4,807
Received 2 Votes on 2 Posts
Here is the a example of crimp sleeve look like





that one of the two most common methold of connecting the ground wires

Merci,Marc
 
  #5  
Old 08-24-08, 12:39 PM
Z
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 6,296
Received 319 Votes on 285 Posts
He suggested aluminum for the service in the weatherhead/riser to the panel.
Aluminum or copper is usually acceptable (barring any local rules). If it's a short run, like just up the side of the house, I'd suggest copper. It's a lot easier to work with (it bends easier, doesn't need no-ox paste, and is smaller) and the cost won't be too much more. If you have a longer run for the service entrance, aluminum is the way to go. Either way should work fine though.

He said the ground wires feeding the receptacle boxes would need to be mechanically bonded for rough in.
Inspectors generally require this because if you have more than one ground coming into the box, the receptacle only accepts one ground wire. So you'll have to nut them together with a third pigtail that's ready to go to the receptacle. (Or you can use one of those nifty green wirenuts like pcboss pointed out, though my opinion is that they are more of a nuisance to use than a regular nut.)

In my experience, the inspector also likes to see all the wires 'made up', basically whatever has to be connected with pigtails - just short of actually stripping and attaching the devices. For example, if you have 2 switches in a box, you'll need the hot nutted with two pigtails hanging off.
 
  #6  
Old 08-24-08, 03:45 PM
C
Member
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: boston, mass
Posts: 60
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
copper or aluminum

in the case of what to use for the service i would take your electricians route and go with aluminum because the job is lower in cost for you and if your having him do it which you should because no diyer should do a service themselves i wouldnt even do one when i was an apprentice. because your dealing live power,trust me you dont want to be dealing with it let him do it and chose the aluminum unless you are in a high corrosion zone like a beach or something cause the aluminum might not last. otherwise i would say its perfectly fine i have done many services and have in my personal experience never had a problem with aluminum
Just to let you know your electrician should know what the local inspector is looking to see when he inspects a job pretty well and wouldnt have suggested it if he knew he would have a problem with it
 
  #7  
Old 08-25-08, 09:01 AM
I
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Near Lansing, Michigan
Posts: 10,941
Received 45 Votes on 43 Posts
Originally Posted by cakins View Post
Is aluminum service the way to go?
Aluminum feeders are very common. There is no safety issue when the aluminum is installed correctly. The aluminum wire is roughly half the cost of copper. For short runs, it's not that big of difference, but for long runs it adds up quick.

I'm assuming a wire nut is fine for this, right?
Yes, any color is okay. The Ideal "Greenies" have a hole in the end so you can leave a length of wire protruding to attach to the device. You can also use "Term-A-Nut" assemblies which have a wirenut, device spade and (optional) ground screw pre-made for quick installation. A barrel crimp is okay too, but check the package to make sure you can crimp with regular pliers as some require a special tool.
 
  #8  
Old 08-25-08, 10:22 AM
P
Member
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: port chester n y
Posts: 2,117
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Your first question pertains to the "Service Entrance Conductors", which are the conductors between the utility connection and the "Main" circuit-breaker in the Service panel.

I suggest , for a comparision, that you ask for a quote on both copper and aluminum SEC's.

Alumimun Service Entrance Cable has NO protection against "mechanical injury" , such as a nail or drill-bit being easily driven into the SEC's at a "point" where the ONLY conductor-protection is the fuse at the utilty transformer.

Copper SEC"s can be enclosed in a PVC conduit.


Also, Aluminum terminations can corrode if the terminations are not made properly.
 
  #9  
Old 08-26-08, 07:55 PM
C
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Missouri
Posts: 144
Received 1 Vote on 1 Post
Originally Posted by PATTBAA View Post

Alumimun Service Entrance Cable has NO protection against "mechanical injury" , such as a nail or drill-bit being easily driven into the SEC's at a "point" where the ONLY conductor-protection is the fuse at the utilty transformer.
I'm not sure I follow the statement above. All service entrance is in a weatherhead/riser, correct? That's metal pipe, so isn't that protection?
 
  #10  
Old 08-26-08, 08:40 PM
F
Member
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: NE Wis / Paris France{ In France for now }
Posts: 4,807
Received 2 Votes on 2 Posts
Not all the service riser do have pipe some are just like oversized NM cable.

But if the area you feel it will be subject to the damage then yes you have to pipe it.

Normally I used either PVC or Rigid pipe depending on the set up but for mast jobs it automatic rigid steel pipe { majorty of the POCO regulations useally ask for 2 inch or larger }

Merci,Marc
 
 

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
 
Ask a Question
Question Title:
Description:
Your question will be posted in: